Search needs to be better. Content on the web is growing exponentially along side searchers. There are 2 main forms of search we all use; looking for something on the entire web, and looking for something on a specific site. I'm not convinced the best experience for these is still clicking into a form field and typing a keyword. Lots of sites feel the same way and have been exploring new forms of search. I'd be interested to see the examples below adapted for use on sites focused towards online sales.
One approach taken by Myspace is to remove the need of a form field all-together. At any point on the site you can just start typing. As you type your screen is populated with results. This would work incredibly well with online stores as one search usually inspires the next. Just-start-typing.
Another great example of better search can be found at the new Changelog site. I love that the design uses topical links in the header—a place you would normally find traditional navigation. This is great because users don't have to change or learn any behavior to find what they are looking for.
We can keep the search bar, but should come up with additional ways to search for content.